Coming Out of Havasu Canyon… On Horseback
While my dad and I were hiking down Havasu Canyon we saw Havasupai people galloping up the canyon. They looked like they were having a blast. They were all smiles and we decided that that looked like a lot of fun! Then, by the time we got to our camp and realized how much we had overpacked for our stay in the canyon we decided we were going to ride out of that canyon on horseback!
We went to the Tourist Office in the Supai village to make our reservation (you have to do so 24 hours in advance). It was crazy expensive ($93.50 per animal- whether you rode it or had packs on it). We decided our legs were so tired that it was worth it. Now we’re debating on that. We kind-of wish we had packed our bags out and hiked up. However, it was an interesting experience I’ll never forget…
Our campsite all packed up on our last morning
Have you ever hiked 10 miles out of a canyon on horseback? Because I can now say I have. I can also say that it is not as fun or as exciting as it sounds.
My dad on his trusty steed
They bring the horses down to the campground, and our “guide” Jose got us on our horses and said, “Go ahead; I’ll catch up.” Huh?! I didn’t quite feel qualified to take a random horse through a canyon, but I did! It didn’t take long for Jose to catch up, and we met up with his wife who was Havasupai. She road up the canyon with us and she was very interesting to talk to.
The ride was the bumpiest ride I’ve ever been on. I used to have a horse and I was spoiled by how easy she was to ride and how smooth her gait was. This horse was impossible to steer, refused to gallop- unless, of course, I didn’t want her to, she walked right through a tree and about knocked me off of her and I had my DSLR with me and she was so bumpy that it made my camera bounce off of my arm, back and shoulder… It was insane! Plus, it took us four hours to ride up (the same amount of time it took us to walk down).
Waiting on a passing mule train
Riding through Havasu Canyon
Almost out of the canyon. Going up the switchbacks.
It did have a couple pros, though… We got to really look at the canyon without having to watch our feet, we weren’t carrying those packs (although we were a whole new kind of sore), and it was something neither of us had ever done.
If you go to Havasu Canyon just know that you can mule your things up and down for $93.50 and you can helicopter in or out for only $85! So, keep that in mind, but remember that the horseback ride just might not be the way to go. Ha.
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